List of Hybrids of European Orchids

You came across a hybrid name in literature, and don't know which combination it means ?
Or you are looking for literature about a certain hybrid ?     Then this is the right place to look for it.


Three hybrid types are distingushed, of which mainly the first two ones are theme of this list:

  • primary hybrids (hybrids of the first generation, often not fertile),
  • hybrid populations (originated from fertile primary hybrids, often containing re-hybridisations with the parents, especially in genus Dactylorhiza hybrid populations are not rare),
  • and hybridogen originated species.

Base of this compilation are the books, magazines, and private orchid lists at my disposal. It will be continued permanently. Occasionally I check hybrid lists of web pages, too. In this context I want to thank Mr. Mathias Raschka, who infatigably searches the internet for orchid hybrids since years and makes his results available for the completion of this web page.

As usual both parents of the hybrid are mentioned in alphabetical order. The whole list is sorted alphabetically according to the first parent species, and because of its size the web representation is divided into several separate files. The intergenetic bastards appear behind the hybrids within a genus, at the end of the entries for the genus of the first parent species.

If authors of the hybrids are mentioned, then only the names of the original authors, who described the orchids, not the names of those who did recombinations.

If you are looking for the correct citation of a hybrid with name of author and eventually recombinator as well as the corresponding original source, then the search function of the International Plant Names Index, which is available in the Web today, is better suitable. My list supplements it by delivering more literature and iconographic sources. If no source is mentioned at a hybrid combination it has in most cases been taken from the internet, and can usually be found there via search engines.

About 3000 hybrids are currently contained. It's my private compilation, which lays neither claim completeness nor soundness. If you should find errors therein, or if you have additions, please send a short message via e-mail (please write the address out, because of the SPAM robots)

I have been maintaining this list for more than fifteen years. Many earlier described hybrids are taken from the compilation in Sundermann's field guide (3. edition 1980), which has the problem that the author didn't distinguish between many closely related species. If known, I supplement these collective species with s.l. or s.str.

If you are looking for a certain bastard, the self programmed search engine is the easiest access to the list of hybrid names. The page with the search result is generated dynamically, in the beginning it was a JavaScript program, in between it runs faster as PHP script in the server.

My compilation contains many synonyms of designated hybrids. On one hand the check of all the priorities under the today's closer definition of species would last several years, and I'm currently not intending to do it. On the other hand mentioning of synonyms is intended, in order to give their hybrid combination, and in many cases to refer to further literature about these, too.

Certainly one must assume that the literature about hybrids, and therefore also this compilation, contains many mis-determinations. Everybody knows how thoughtlessly the maddest speculations arise in the enthusiasm for an unusual finding. Nevertheless the compilation may be a useful reference, which e.g. may shorten some search for recent literature references about hybrids of European orchids. Hybrids, which are very doubtful according to today's view, are usually marked ('zh').

More primary hybrids seem to be possible than some are thinking, e.g. in 1999 the artificial generation of a hybrid between Ophrys x albertiana and Orchis fragrans was credibly published, of which photos are available again in the internet since short time. Today modern scientific methods as e.g. analysis of the genes can clearify doubtful cases, as the example of the 1988 published supposed hybrid Aceras anthropophorum x Neotinea maculata from Gargano is showing, which turned out as an atavistic Neotinea. Below there are some examples of unusual and atiavisic orchids which are no hybrids.

Dactylorhiza alpestris, F Col de Granon 30.6.02  Ophrys aurelia, F Nice 27.4.02
No hybrid, but Dactylorhiza alpestris with genetic
F Col de Granon 30.6.02
 No hybrid, but an unusual Ophrys aurelia
F Nice 27.4.02
Gymnadenia odoratissima Atavism, D Allgäu 10.7.04  Gymnadenia odoratissima Atavism, D Allgäu 10.7.04
Some people assume that these atavistic Gymnadenia odoratissima are hybrids between Gymnadenia odoratissima and Spiranthes aestivalis. I do not.
D Allgäu 10.7.04
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